There’s a great opportunity coming up this weekend (2/8/14-2/9/14) for those who have an interest in Big Data. Microsoft is hosting a (free) hackathon at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus in Mountain View (California). This is a Future Cities Hackathon; the focus will be looking at how Big Data can be used to solve problems in San Francisco. There are prizes on offer for the winning teams. (At the time of this writing, I was unable to pry the list of prizes out of Microsoft. I’ll update this post if I get the list before the hackathon.)
There will be 3 categories which will be judged by a panel of experts.
- Data modelling: Can you finds trends in data on the movements of SF citizens? Can you make accurate predictions on the behaviour of the pedestrians and traffic? Can you alleviate traffic chaos and aid in the ergonomic redistribution of parking? Can you set up your own pre-crime division!? Any tools or languages can be used in this category from iPython Notebook, Hadoop, R, C++, Spark, Matlab or any other data analysis tool. The most innovative winning entry will win and the solution published.
- Data Visualisation: Can you find the best way to visualise the movements of pedestrians around the City? Is it mapping, D3 charts or a more interactive web driven approach? How can you show relative behaviours of groups of people, traffic or hotspots? For example, can you write a training application for traffic officers? Or do you build a dashboard for City planners? The best and most innovative idea will win!
- Mobile application: Do you want to combine modelling and visualisation so that mobile users can find things out about the City when they’re on the move? Will you deliver this through a combination of maps and text? Which audience will you target? The best entry wins. This is a Windows Phone competition and will get support from Nokia who will help the app to be marketed and published in the app store.
To help with the hackathon, they are bringing in some of the world’s foremost experts in Cloud and Data Science, including Richard Conway and Andy Cross, two Windows Azure MVP’s based in London whose company, Elastacloud, specializes in Big Data consulting. They are both brilliant, and will be speaking and helping people throughout the hackathon, alongside experts from Hortonworks and Microsoft. This is a rare opportunity to talk to several Big Data experts in person, and see how anyone can get up and running in hours solving large scale data problems.
If you know nothing about Cloud and/or Big Data, this is your chance. Microsoft will be supplying cloud time for all attendees. Interested in “machine learning” or advanced analytics? Then come to the Microsoft Future Cities Big Data Hackathon!